This is a simple game for five or more players (when I say more, the more the merrier - I have played it with 30+ participants.)
EQUIPMENT NEEDED : a ball (a football or volley ball is best, but it can be played with any size ball), a piece of chalk for marking out the court and sufficient space on a hard surface to mark out the court - the ball has to bounce.
PREPARATION : mark out the playing court on the ground (it doesn't matter if the surface is uneven, in fact it can add an extra dimension to the game) : ideally the squares should be around 2 metres across but exact size doesn't matter, nor do they need to be precisely square as long as all four are the same size.
When a player is out she leaves her square and joins the end of the queue and the other players move round to the next square : for example, if player 3 misses, she leaves the square and stands behind player 8 (in the queue), player 2 moves up to square 3 and player 1 moves to square 2, and 4 stays where she is. The newly vacant square 1 is filled by the first person in the queue, in this case player 5, and play continues with player 4 serving as before. If player 4 is out, everyone moves up one, a new player joins at square 1 and the new player in square 4 serves as before to continue the game.
Four square is a fast game with a quick turnover of players, so no-one is waiting for their turn very long. It can be played indoors or out as long as there is enough room. There are no winners or losers, although competition to get to square 4 can be quite fierce, and the game ends when everyone has had enough or you run out of time!
* I first played this game on a PGL holiday in Wales, with an ever-changing selection of players of all ages who dropped in and out as they pleased, on the most uneven flagstone surface imaginable! It went on for HOURS, until well after dark. *
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